Filed under: book reviews, nonfiction | Tags: government policy, natural resources, new left, nikolas kozloff, nonfiction, political culture, political participation, politics, revolution, south america
Furthering my exploration into Spanish speaking cultures after reading David Lida’s First Step in the New World, I picked up a copy of Nikolas Kozloff’s Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left. Though over the past few months U.S.A.’s newspapers have been spewing forth little new unrelated to the primaries, recently and over the past few years some really exciting political movements, and dare I say revolutions, have been unfolding in some South American countries.
In recent years, competing in Fidel Castro’s spotlight, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has been attracting a lot of attention with his colorful critiques of America and anti-imperialism. However, his scathing comments only portray the surface of a new type of government Chavez is exploring and identifies as the New Left or the New Socialism. This blending of capitalism and communism though is not only unfolding in Venezuela but also throughout other South American countries.
Revolution! is great as a book that provides meaningful and interesting information of contemporary politics in South America, which never gets lost in the chaotic histories of some of these countries. Kozloff explores energy, media, nationalism, gender and much more while portraying an honest perspective of important happenings in South America and what these implicates for continental relationships as well as worldwide relationships.
Recently I spoke with a co-worker about South American politics, and though we regularly disagree on politics he’s usually pretty aware, but as with many people in the U.S. inundated with news of the primary and years of media focus on the Middle East it’s all too easy to miss news from, well, everywhere else in the world if you’re not looking for it. But many South American countries are in current political positions where really exciting policy moves are being made, and whether you agree or disagree it will be interesting how current leaders and movements develop these countries.
Revolution! is a great introductory book that never gets bogged down under an overload of statistical information, remains a somewhat light read as Kozloff interjects experiences from his personal travels throughout South America, but I believe is still a meaningful and informative book that provides some excellent information on South American policy.